8,400 Mile Corvette Stingray

low-mileage-1975-corvette

It might not be the best year for the Vette, but the seller’s claim that this 1975 Stingray has only covered 8,400 miles since new makes it very intriguing. Sure, the odometer could have rolled over once, but there are some clues here that make me wonder if it really is legit. I just wish we had more of the story. Find it here on craigslist in Phoenix, Arizona for $7,000. Thanks goes to Paul G for the tip. You are on a roll Paul!

1975-corvette-interior

The seller does include the basics in the ad. Clean title, power windows, power steering, power brakes, 350 V8, automatic, 8,400 miles… What? Could that be for real? The interior does look pretty clean and original. I suppose someone could have recovered the seats, but there isn’t any obvious reason to doubt the claim in here. Well, except for that missing horn button…

burnt-paint

The exterior looks right for a low-mileage Arizona car. The paint is dry and faded, but appears to be original. The hot southern sun has baked the top surfaces of the body, but I like the look! I would just polish it up and try to protect what is left of the paint. Some glaze and wax would bring back the shine and the worn through spots could just be called “character”. Just don’t be surprised when every other person you talk to asks, “when are you going to paint it?”.

8400-miles

Some under-hood shots would have gone a long way in determining if that mileage is correct, but an easier way might be to just ask the seller for some documentation. Registration, oil change stickers, etc. could prove a lot more than my feeble attempt at an online inspection. That mileage really is the deal breaker here because the car is priced right around where a typical #4 condition car should be. Paperwork proving the mileage would elevate this from being just an okay buy to a killer bargain!

1975-corvette-rear

Perhaps they didn’t include any shots of the engine though because it wasn’t anything to get too excited about. A low-compression head and catalytic convertor choked power output (165 hp) in 1975 making it one of the slowest Corvettes around. Perhaps that is also the reason this one has covered so few miles? It just wasn’t that fun to drive. Heck, you might get lucky though and discover that this one is equipped with the L82 package (205hp)! If anyone is in the area and can go take a look, please let us know. Fingers crossed…

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Comments

  1. TuckerTorpedo

    Well, in real estate it’s “location”, and in vintage Corvettes it’s condition. And regardless of the numbers currently displayed on the odometer, this one’s pretty poor. Also poor is the seller’s marketing skills, or lack of them. I’ve seen vintage Corvette oil filters marketed and communicated more clearly. So much lacking, so much unanswered and not shown, so little information offered. And he forgot to mention the most obvious, expected, and over used word of all…wait for it…RARE!

  2. Dolphin Member

    The seller says: “serious buyers only”.
    I say “serious sellers only”, especially when you need to sell it soon.

    I think a serious seller would want to include something about that amazingly low mileage. What documentation is there to show that this 39-year old car has run only 8,400 miles? What other documents come with the car? When was it last registered for the road? Where was it registered? Is the guy who registered it available to talk to? Are you that guy? What does the engine bay look like? The car runs but needs work…..What does it need to drive or even be run onto a trailer? Etc.

  3. John

    Looks like the steering column cover in the passenger seat and the ignition benzel on the console????? Lost the keys? How bad is it boogered up?

    • jim s

      good catch. something else the seller needs to explain in detail.

  4. stanley stalvey

    Looks like a new beginning for an old love affair. At least the body is straight and unmolested. Any old gal looks good with a fresh coat of paint. You can look at the undercarriage and see if it’s 8k miles or more. It should be completely free of any oil buildup normally caused by long term oil leaks or other signs of excessive wear to hoses and underhood rubber. There should be only very little sign of corrosion or surface rust under the hood on painted surfaces. Stickers should look fairly new and not faded..

  5. paul

    I like these & as far as the mileage I don’t really care because these Corvettes from after 72 are the one car I would put a crate motor & a 5,or 6 speed gear box in. I always considered these to be a poor mans Cobra front engine rear drive for what under 15 g. This car is interesting , the bumper covers are still good, if they were ever replaced you would see the classic waves bubbles & bumps that happen when replacing these covers & when these are just old they just disintergrate leaving chunks of plastic missing. I like it for not a lot of $’s.

  6. RollerD

    I suspect the car was painted red over beige, looks like someone wet sanded the paint. I think an L-82 car would have had the L-82 emblem on the hood. Door window rubber looks to be in poor shape. Not much of a market for the rubber bumper cars. This will be a tough sell at any price, unless you give it away.

  7. rancho bella

    I know these and I know enough to stay away from them. Having owned 4, seventy and seventy one Corvettes I can tell you that they are unpleasant to own.
    And the years after the ’71?………….they just went downhill from there.
    One would think I would have wised up after the first one………I ain’t that bright

    • Brian

      rancho,
      Your reminding me of that old story about the guy who buys his first boat. In his enthusiasm, he spares no expense to see that his new baby gets top car for the first 3 years. On the forth year, he’s broke and sells it for a fraction of what he paid for it. Completely disgusted and disillusioned with it, he’s happy just to see it go! I’ve heard simular tales from former Corvette and Euro luxury car owners over the years. Never had a Vette, but I have experienced the Euro car syndrome. Sometimes, your expectations get you in over your head!

  8. jim s

    nice find. i too think this needs a inspection of the paperwork along with the car. looks like red on the tires also. is that the same shade of red paint as on the f100 pickup!

  9. Tom Cotrel

    With mileage that low, I would worry if the oil was changed enough and what shape anything that moves would be in. Speaking as a Californian, anything 1975 and before can be desmogged. I would either do that or just swap in a replacement crate motor and maybe even a later 4 speed THM. But for that to make sense the price would have to come down a bit.

  10. AMCFAN

    If this Corvette really had 8000 miles would be really the only thing that would make it interesting. No disrespect to anyone that is a fan of the plastic bumper Vettes. They are just too common and have little value. Having found and owned several vintage cars with low miles my issue with this car is I would expect to see the original tires still on it. The thought next is that if the car spent its life in AZ the tires simply rotted away. What doesn’t add up is the Black leather seats look too nice to have been in the elements. Doesn’t add up. Hopefully if there is any paperwork look for the reciept for those awesome Road Hugger tires and note the in service mileage.

  11. Jeff V.

    If this is real (key word “real”), the owner doesn’t know much about cars or marketing. I would hire a pro or diy (time?) to get it ready for any of the “high profile” auctions in the area e.g. Scottsdale etc. Take advantage of the stratosphere prices being paid today, for a small “clean-up” investment and ANY documentation/statements re: mileage, the owner would get a nice return on the investment, just my opinion..

  12. Horse Radish

    the way I read the headline in his ad:
    8400 hundred miles
    That is : 8400 times 100 or, easier : 840 times a thousand miles or

    • Will

      My thoughts exactly. Maybe its actually brilliant marketing as its the only thing this vette has to generate enthusiasm.

  13. Scott Allison

    I own a 75 Vette… This one is missing the CORVETTE lettering on the tail, and with all that sun fading, if it’s the original plastic tail, it will break with the slightest pressure. The steering wheel is missing the Telescope locking hardware, and horn button. Looks like the drivers door lock knob on the e-brake console. The paint is questionable on originality too. Need the VIN and pic of the door sticker to verify if this car was originally red. The beige under the red is a big “red flag”, as it should be light grey primer. 7K is way too much.. more like $3 – 4k if it runs.

  14. Ed Member

    I have a 77 I want to restore. It has not been run in over a year, but has been stored in my son’s garage. Could anyone recommend a good restoration book? It has 73,000 miles on it. Where to start??

  15. Chris A.

    The 70’s were not kind to Corvettes and this is an prime example of why they are so cheap. I’m thinking this is being sold by a flipper who somehow picked it up cheap. How could a Corvette could sit for almost 40 years in AZ heat and come out looking like that.

  16. bupinder

    Ha!
    All this talk of spelling mistakes and typos from previous days – I can only find 3 in this write up. They must have been sprinkled in there on purpose today.
    First the typo – everyone knows the V9 wasn’t offered in this model year so it has to have the V8! (You will recall that the V9 was GMs response to the Audi 5 cylinder. Sadly the big block V9 – all aluminum with titanium heads and carbon fiber oil pan was so light that the cars it was installed in all rode nose high, a problem that GM engineers could not easily solve so the entire project was shelved.)
    As for the grammar police “accept” – except and “backed” – baked – unfortunately spell checking software won’t pick up that those are the wrong words (but spelled correctly!) Spelling isn’t what the site is about cars are – and I think you are doing a great job.
    I also check BaT and Daily Turismo. BaT feels like big business and high end and I don’t see this site going head to head with them. One thing I like about DT is they do a morning noon and night post (sort of). Usually one car at a time. It worth going back to DT a couple of times a day to see what has changed. Often I come here and nothing has been updated for days…
    Keep up the good work!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Thanks for catching those. All fixed!

    • paul

      well you all know I can’t spell or write but if I wanted an English course I would sign on to one of those sites, this here is barn finds, (CARS) so if I spell something wrong I don’t really give a crap .Just saying.

      • AAAZDAD Member

        I agree with you Paul! I thoroughly enjoy this site. As a life long car enthusiast, who has not yet been in a position to actually enter the hobby of collecting, the site has provided me with countless hours of entertainment (15 or 20 minutes at a time) living vicariously through those that live the dream. I am an American iron lover at heart, but have expanded my horizons tremendously by following Barn Finds. I have learned more about what I was already familiar with, been reminded of things i knew as a youngster but had forgotten, and had the door opened to the whole world of automobiles outside our continent. It is clearly obvious that it requires a great deal of variety to regularly entertain a group as diverse as automobile hobbyists. I can’t imagine what the time commitment must be to keep something like this on-going. Since my site updates come via my email, the variation in posting has never been an issue. When I receive a Barn Finds email, I know there is a new posting. It is like being a kid and knowing the mail man might be bringing a letter any day. When one comes, I have something to look forward to (and appreciate!). So variety in content, variance in post timing, all withstanding, I like what you guys provide. As for the arrogant whining about spelling and grammar, people give us a break. I don’t recall ever seeing a post that I couldn’t interpret due to a typo! It is very commendable that you haven’t resorted to “text speak”, now some folks have really obliterated the language there and people seem to accept it, that I don’t get. Any enhancements that you choose, should be appreciated by all, and hopefully won’t be detrimental to your schedules, which must already be overwhelmed at times. To Jesse and Josh, as the old saying goes, my hat is off to you!!!

      • rancho bella

        Hey Paul………..good for you.

  17. Barry Thomas

    Had a ’76 back in 1976, but with the “high” powered L82. I think I timed 0-60 at 10 seconds. That would easily be beaten by a Civic these days. Doesn’t seem like terrible money, if 8400 miles is correct. Remember, not everyone is a genius at marketing.
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

  18. rick

    Wow – it has the rare V9 350. Didn’t know GM even made a V9 350. Must be the only one ever built, certainly the only one I’ve ever seen. They should have taken better care of it. Still, I’m surprised they are not asking whole lot more for such a rare car . . .

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Good one Rick! All fixed.

  19. charlie Member

    A dog is a dog is a dog. Loud, slow, harsh riding, and drank gas like a champ! Even if it had only 8,000 miles on it, if it is original, it would still be loud, slow, harsh riding and a real gas guzzler. The Corvettes from the 60’s or the 90’s are far better beasts, although, the 60’s are equally loud and harsh riding, at least they are fast, and use less gas, and depending on the transmission and engine, are real sports cars. This is a boulevardier, i.e., chick magnet, at best.

    • Brian

      I think this one lost it’s chick magnet appeal about the time Farrah Fawcett left Charlie’s Angles!

  20. SoCal Car Guy

    @charlie,
    And the saddest thing about it is that these bloated beasts were about as good as it got from the dismal mid ’70s to the mid ’80s…

  21. victor

    HMMMM I’ve got to wonder why the rear bumperets are painted red ??? I had a 1977 that was red and the front and rear bumperets were black, all of the other 70’s Corvettes had the black paint. These cars were not the fastest but were somewhat comfortable. I have a 1985 Vette that has 33,000 miles on it and it looks like a new car, I’m not sure abut this one to many questions ….

  22. John

    I wonder why a car with 8400 miles needed new tires? It darn sure didn’t come with “Huggers” on it. But its otherwise a nice looking little Chevrolet with a bunch of wires hanging down under the dashboard and a part of the steering column falling off that needs a paint job. Oh, and I wonder why the hood doesn’t close completely. And how, in 8400 miles did the steering wheel get a bunch of wear at about the 11 and 2 positions? and, and…..

    • Dolphin Member

      John,
      any original tires from the 1970s will be unsafe even if not very worn because they deteriorate over time, especially bias ply tires. There are jurisdictions (for example where I live) where an inspection includes looking at the manufacture date on the tire and rejecting the car if the tires are old. I’m looking at buying new tires for a 1970 car that I am restoring because they are more than 10 years old, even tho not very worn.

      The one good thing about having old original tires on an old car is that they help the idea that the car might be a low mile car, although they don’t prove it. But they will need to be replaced before the car is road driven.

  23. Ian @ Jewel or Jalopy

    Too many red flags for a 8400 mile car. Even it it really is 8400 miles, it still looks like it will need a full restoration.

    Never mind the seller gives himself an out with his “8400 hundered” miles comment. I’m sure that’s not an accident.

    Send someone over to check it out, then bring a stack of cash.

  24. Cameron

    Front & back bumpers have been painted. Bumperettes should be black.

  25. Will

    After looking the ad over I have come to believe it is a 108,400 mile car and is being sold by an angry ex. Probably of the blond variety.

  26. Charles

    As the owner of two 80’s Trans Am’s with documented low mileage, this car lends more questions than answers. A close personal inspection is the only way to determine if it is a neglected and abused but true 8400 mile car, or as others have said, 108,400 mile car. As for tires, they dry rot. Both of my cars have required new tires. The OE tires on my 82 which has a documented 24,600 miles on it finally got so hard and rotten that the car could not be driven safely. Oh Yeah, everybody at the car shows thought it was cool to have a 30 Y/O car with the original rubber, but what good is a car that can’t be driven. I kept the OE tires, which still have plenty of tread as additional documentation of the car’s true mileage. The tires will go with the car if it is ever sold, but I can promise you that I will not put air in them again. If this Corvette is solid, it looks like it would make an ideal canidate for fun cruiser as a resto-mod. I could picture it with an LSA crate engine and a 6 speed stick.

    • Brian

      I suppose you could have purchased a second set of rims/wheels and had the new tires mounted on them for driving and put the originals back on the car for shows, if your into that sort of thing.

  27. Charles

    That’s an idea Brian. The point I was trying to make is that tires are not a good indicator of originality, because they typically don’t last very long.

    • Brian

      Gotcha, and agree! Learned that lesson when an ancient poly cord blew out on the rear of my Model A Roadster at 45 mph. It’s wasn’t a fun lesson, but ended ok…

  28. AMCFAN

    Since I started the tire issue I’ll put it to bed. The car is advertised as having 8400 miles. Looking at the pictures at face value I would expect to see OEM tires.
    This comes from my personal experience of finding very and owning low mileage vehicles. The vehicles I found all differ in how they were stored but have a common element.
    First was a 1974 Gremlin with 6800 miles that had been in climate controlled storage since 1977. The tires were still in amazing condition. With all the documentation and original pics when new put the miles in perspective.
    The second was a 78 Matador with 9100 miles stored in an unheated garage. Parked in 1980. The tires although flat when found were still on it with the original condition helped to determine true mileage. When the car was woke up I drove it across town and was um… very shaky. Never ever try this.
    The third was a 1978 Pacer purchased by a gentleman who bought the car for his company and ended up selling the company. The car wasn’t part of the sale so he sent it to his summer home. It was parked on his property under a tarp. Never to move again for a very long time.It had 26 miles. My guess is the tarp lasted maybe 7 years then it was out in the elements. Tires were rough but still fantastic to see. Car on the other hand was ruined as a whole but parts of it were remarkable.
    Last car was a 1980 Trans AM 17K miles. Lived in AZ since new. The better part of its life was spent indoors untill the owner lost his house but still refused to sell the Pontiac. After that it sat out. This is where the Corvette doesn’t make sense. The black interior is too nice. The T/A had the same weathered paint as the Vette. However the interior was ruined. The AZ heat is HOT. How hot is it? An ink pen in the glove box was melted. The interior plastics were turning to powder. All factory markings under the car looked fresh. No rust. The Poly Steele Radials were still on the car. Not all would hold air for long periods of time but were there.
    Different vehicles different storage but a common element. In each case with the vehicles I found is that they were new/parked and forgotten. That is my experience with tires.

    In all fairness to the Corvette it is hard to say without looking it over in person. It may have a pretty good story. It is likely the car was stored and rescued sometime in the 1990’s when those tires were installed. Then for unknown reasons put back away. Back then no one would have thought to save the tires. Having them wouldn’t change the value at all. Just a cool selling point in the future. The guy is unsure on buying then you hit him by saying….and yeah I have the originals too. One thing for sure It has been sitting on the ground. Hopefully someone will save it. But it will have to take a huge price reduction. Last summer I passed on a 74 body only with a bunch of nos parts that was pretty nice @$800. My how times have changed.
    A car is only new once.

  29. Charles

    Both of my Trans Am’s were kept in climate controlled buildings. The 86 was parked in the original owner’s basement garage that is air conditioned and heated with the house. The original Goodyear Gatorback tires turned into a rotten mess. The first one separated, bubbled up, and blow out due to dry rot in 2005. I purchased the car in 2006 with 25K miles on it and the three remaining tires. The second OE tire blew the side wall out in my garage that same year. The other two got where they would not hold air. We replaced the tires. I gave the two remaining tires to a friend with a GTA that uses the same tire.

    The 82 spent it’s whole life in an air conditioned garage. When I purchased the car in 2012, the OE Goodyear Eagle GT’s were still in place. The car had 24,257 miles on it. The tires looked OK from the sidewalls, but an inspection of the tread revealed some serious dry rot. The car drove like it was on wooden wheels, and felt like it was out of control at 35 MPH. I had the tires replaced this year so we could drive the car on cruises and such when we attend charity car shows around the southeast. I kept the OE tires to attest to the originality of the car, but nothing else. We also had to replace the brake hoses, radiator hoses, heater hoses, belts and rubber fuel hoses as they were pretty scary also.

    My first guess with this Corvette is that it has 108,400 miles on it. There seems to be way too much wear and tear on the car for 8400 miles. We have purchased some very low mileage cars over the years and they have a certain look of originality to them. In the 1980’s I bought a 1959 Buick Invicta four door with 15K miles on it. it had been parked in a garage and let sit from the mid 60’s to the early 80’s. The tires went flat, and the rims rusted off where they made contact with the concrete floor. The car was in remarkable condition otherwise, and made a nice collectable once it was cleaned up and sorted out mechanically.

  30. jim s

    price is now $5700!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      They lowered the price, but didn’t change the mileage…

      • jim s

        how low will the price go before it sells?

  31. Joe

    I purchased this Vette. Its in really solid condition, is it 8400 miles? I dont think so, but it is very clean and desperately needs paint. The title however is still 8405 BOX A miles. Runs pretty good, except it has a carb issue or vacuum issue.

    A poster above mentioned the ignition key was messed up, the part you see laying on the console is the lock mechanism for the door. Car runs great, but I haven’t actually taken it very far and I trailered it home. Probably needs a new brake booster, very squishy whoosh pedal. The paint is toast. Seals are a little crusty, t-top seals are perfect, seems the tops weren’t out much on this car. Flip up lights work, ac blows hard just warm. Radio does not work. All gauges and lights work, except turn signals, seems like the flasher or some bulbs burned. Smells of old gas.

    Anyway, I thought Id give an update since you guys are the ones actually that helped me with my decision to buy it. I believe these cars are on the way up in value, especially since I paid 4500 :)

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Good for you Joe! Thanks for letting us know please keep us updated on your progress as you bring her back to life.

  32. Charles

    Congrats Joe! It sounds like a good buy to me, even if the car has 208,400 miles on it which it probably doesn’t . It sounds like the perfect car to do some catch up maintenance, a few repairs, paint, and have a good time. Good luck and keep us posted!

  33. SoCal Car Guy

    Congratulations, Joe! At $4,500 you definitely bought it right. Your “squishy’ brake pedal is probably the calipers; if your Vette is indeed mostly original the calipers are likely original and unsleeved. The old calipers were cast iron and brake fluids and moisture would eventually corrode the piston bores leading to leakage and a soft pedal. Most old C2 (1963-67, 65-’67 with discs) and C3 (1968-82) Corvettes have had the calipers replaced with ones with stainless steel sleeves, which prevents or cures the corrosion and gives a good solid pedal. Sleeved, rebuilt original calipers are available from almost all Corvette parts suppliers. I suggest you get catalogs from a few of the major Corvette parts specialists, and based on six-plus years as editor of a Corvette publication and experience on several project cars I feel comfortable with recommending Corvette America, Corvette Central and Mid America Motorworks as reputable businesses to deal with. Have fun and good luck with your new toy, it looks like a solid old car.

  34. Joe

    Thanks guys! I read someone posted above they would buff this and leave it, the paint is way gone, even when I buff it, it just stays flat once it dries.

    Thanks for all the advise Socalguy!!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      You could try going over it with some glaze a few times and then coat it with wax before it loses its shine. Maybe look up some info on boat paint repair.

      • Joe

        Good idea. but the paint has spiders in it. I’m going to keep it very original but the paint is on my first list of things to do, the interior is awesome for an old car, Id be amazed if it has ever had anything done to it, Id have to see one right next to it to compare every detail. But it is really awesome, I’m going to have to lose a few pounds to enjoy completely. I’m 6’2 245lbs, if it didn’t have tilt wheel Id never get in it, once in it, it is doable, just different than my Shelby GT500 with recaros :)

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